Netflix has a reputation for coming out with feature films that everyone just absolutely loves. One of their recent releases, ‘Chopsticks’, is no different. Set in Mumbai, this film follows the life of Nirma (yes, like washing powder Nirma), a small town girl trying to make her mark on the big city, and most definitely facing issues on the way.
Nirma works for a tour company that specializes in Chinese tourists in India.
The movie begins with Nirma buying her first ever car with her savings. Since she’s super superstitious, she’s concerned about the number plate numbers adding up to 11, she wanted it to be 9, her lucky number. In this sequence, we see her driving her car for the first time and also listening to self-help tapes. It’s evident that she is a nervous girl and that only intensifies when she gets to work and is immediately taunted. It’s the usual ‘big city mentality’ that makes her colleagues think she is less than them because she comes from a smaller town.
Nirma is then given the biggest shock of her life.
She innocently gave her car to a parking attendant at a temple, but it turned out he conned her and stole her car. While at the police station she is introduced to a man who can help her. His name is ‘Artist’ (Abhay Deol) and he’s an eccentric man with a knack for recovering stolen items for people. Nirma and ‘Artist’ are poles apart and total opposites but as they embark on their mission to recover her car.
Nirma is the type of employee who’s always trying to move up and progress in her career. Despite her car issues, she’s focusing on her job but her boss and colleagues keep undermining her. Nirma asks her boss every day for a more high profile customer but is shot down because of the way she presents herself and her ‘English’. In the movie we constantly see herself trying to change her ways, from improving her English to learning how to use chopsticks.
Finally, Nirma’s spirit breaks and she tells ‘Artist’ who gives her a tough lesson. He tells her that there is always more than one way out of a tricky situation. His confidence in Nirma begins to rub off on her and she becomes bolder and at the end of the movie is a different person, but at the same time, she’s still very Nirma.
The movie’s main takeaway is to find confidence in yourself to live your life without losing your essence and your spirit.
Nirma represents a lot of people in Pakistan and India, who move to the big city and find it hard to adjust. They are constantly bogged down and told they can’t ever do better than where they are. It’s usually these people that are the hardest working, but they’re also treated the worst. ‘Artist’ is maybe one of the few people in the city that has treated Nirma with the respect that she deserves He, of course, is judgemental in the beginning but as he interacts with her, he sees her true value.
The gangster group that steals Nirma’s car are the source of much of the comic relief of the film as does the interaction between Nirma and ‘Artist’. Her car being stolen initially seems like the main crisis of the film, but it becomes evident that it is, in fact, Nirma and her insecurities, and she overcomes them all in her pursuit of getting her car back.
All in all, if you’re looking for a funny, heartwarming watch, ‘Chopsticks’ is the movie you must absolutely watch. Let us know in the comments what you think 🙂
Cover Image Courtesy: Netflix